Welcome to my What’s Up Wednesday post for this week! If you aren’t familiar with WUW, it’s a blog hop created by my sister Jaime and me, intended to help writers keep in touch with one another. If you’d like to participate, please sign up on the linky below, and be sure to spread some writerly encouragement around to at least a few other people taking part.
What I’ve Been Reading:
This weekend I finished my ARC of The Dream Thieves. In case you didn’t see my post on this, our local independent bookstore gave me an ARC just on time to read it before the actual release date. Not only did I absolutely LOVE it, but I’ve discovered that I’m not capable of reading a Maggie Stiefvater book quickly. I have to savour every single beautiful word. As with The Raven Boys, I was completely invested in the characters, and Adam continues to break my heart whenever he’s on the page. Without giving any spoilers, there were a couple of scenes involving Blue that were incredibly sweet, each for different reasons. I enjoyed getting a deeper look into Ronan’s mind as well. Heck, even Chainsaw had me mesmerized. I can't wait until book three comes out. This next year is going to be cruel and unusual punishment, especially seeing as I have a theory about one thing I think might happen and I want to know if I’m right.
Now, I’ve got three books on the go, which is ridiculous since I’m busy writing and don’t have much time for reading. I’m still partway through Descendant by Lesley Livingston. I’m reading Ender’s Game with my son before the movie comes out. Plus, I’m working my way through The Odyssey by Homer, which I love.
What I’ve Been Writing:
A couple weeks ago, I mentioned I was working on THE chapter that everything in my trilogy hinges on. Well, I finished it. I’m not exactly sure what I think of the first half of the scene—kind of waffling back and forth on what I should keep or cut—but I’m very happy with the second half. The especially important bit played out exactly as I pictured it. Whew! I’ve written a few more scenes since (one that I was waiting forever to write, and yes, it involved kissing) and while I’m right in the heart of the good stuff and things are going to very quickly speed up in terms of the plot, I’m sort of mulling over and tinkering around with some of the details. I’m a planner, but it’s impossible to foresee how every little piece of the plot will unfold until you’re actually writing it. I’m behind where I wanted to be in drafting at this point, but I’m enjoying the writing, so I’m not too disappointed about that.
What Inspires Me Right Now:
Fumiko Ishioka, the teacher responsible for piecing together the story of Hana’s Suitcase. This woman went to incredible lengths to discover the history behind a suitcase she acquired from Auschwitz, and to teach students about the Holocaust. Fumiko followed the suitcase's trail until she was able to locate Hana's brother, George, who survived Auschwitz and eventually settled in Canada. She gave George the opportunity to share Hana's tragic story, as well as his own, with her students in Japan. Now, because of her efforts, children the world over can learn about Hana Brady’s life and the prejudice that ended it. If you haven’t read the book Hana’s Suitcase or watched the companion documentary, Inside Hana’s Suitcase, I highly recommend them. And if you’re a parent or teacher looking for good World War II resources, be sure to check these out.
And also, Terry Fox. See below...
What Else I’ve Been Up To:
On Sunday, my family participated in the annual Terry Fox Run to raise money for cancer research. I walked 5k with my in-laws, while my boys ran the 10k. If you’re not familiar with Terry Fox, he’s a Canadian hero. Terry lost his leg, and ultimately his life, to cancer. In 1980, despite being an amputee, he attempted to run across Canada in an effort to create awareness about the disease and raise funds for research. His goal was to raise one dollar for every Canadian. He made it halfway (5373 km/3339 miles) before his Marathon of Hope was cut short when his cancer returned and made it impossible to continue. He died just months later at the age of 22. Terry’s story is one of courage, determination, and sacrifice. To honour his memory and continue his legacy, it’s become a family tradition to participate in this event every year. If you’re interested in reading more about Terry, you can do so: here.
I also watched some interesting things this week. Firstly, my son and I watched the documentary, Inside Hana’s Suitcase, as mentioned above. In the realm of fun, we watched Star Trek Into Darkness again (awesome from start to finish), as well as the Lumineers and Jake Bugg itunes festival concerts on TV (both were great). We also tuned in to the pilot for Sleepy Hollow, which was fun and the perfect amount of creepy leading up to Halloween. Also, Ichabod Crane is a vast improvement over the old Disney version. If you don’t believe me, look him up.
Other than that, there was far too much buffalo chicken pizza, some raspberry porter to compliment The Dream Thieves, guzzling of the new chocolate chai latte at Starbucks and, as always, book shopping.
So what’s up with you these days?